Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Siberian Sojourn Volume II - Chapter 23

Personnel of the 27th and 31st
Regiments Go to Full Strength

Vladivostok was teeming with the Americans by the end of September 1918. They mixed with the soldiers and sailors of other nations and, as we have seen, took in the sights of the city in breathless eagerness for fear of being shuttled out of the area without much warning.
By Sep n addition to those who had previously arrived, the above personnel were assigned at once. The surplus was placed in a Headquarters Detachment (Expeditionary Force) and a Replacement Battalion as follow:

Headquarters Detachment:

Enlisted Commissioned
First Lieutenant 1
Regimental Sergeants-Major 4 P
Battalion Sergeants-Major 6 P
First Sergeants 1 P
Sergeants 7 (5P-2R)
Corporals 8 (4P-4R)
Cooks 3 P
Wagoners 5 P
Privates 1st Class 10 R
Privates 20 R
Total Enlisted - 64
Aggregate 65

P --Armed with Pistol
R -- Armed with Rifle

Replacement Battalion - to consist of Battalion Headquarters and Companies "A" and "B" - organized as follows:
Battalion Headquarters:

Enlisted Commissioned
Majors 1
1st Lieutenants 1
Battalion Sergeants-Major 1 P
Cooks 1 P
Privates - 1st Class 2 R
4 Total Enlisted 4
Aggregate 6

Regimental Company Strength:

Enlisted Commissioned
Captain 1
1st Lieutenants 3
2nd Lieutenants 2
First Sergeant 1 - P
Mess Sergeants 1 - P
Supply Sergeants 1 - P
Sergeants 12 - R
Corporals 33 - R
Cooks 4 - P
Mechanics 4 - P
Buglers 2 - R
Privates - 1st Class 64 - R
Privates 128 - R

250 Total Enlisted 250
Aggregate 256

Almost from the beginning the Intelligence Section, the Signal Corps Detachment, including the Photographic Unit of the Signal Corp., the Engineering Detachment, Ordnance, Quartermaster, Judge Advocate's Department and others were kept busy.

The Intelligence Section

One of the busiest sections was the Military Intelligence Division. With the arrival of additional officers an extensive organization was established.

The following data is taken from the Intelligence report by David P. Barrows, Lt. Col., Cav., U.S.A.
Following the arrival of the Commanding General, the Intelligence Section was given a more definite organization and its strength was greatly augmented by the arrival on September 29th of sixteen officers and fifteen Army field clerks who had been especially selected and dispatched to the Expedition by the Military Intelligence Division at Washington. These officers and clerks are as follows:
Captains John A. Powell, U.S.A.
" H.V.V. Fay, Engr, Corps. U.S.A.
" Frederic Vieweg, U.S.A.
" Montgomery Schuyler, U.S.A.
" Max Elser, Jr., Inf. U.S.A.
" Kenneth L. Roberts, U.S.A.
" F.F. Moore, U.S.A.
" F.B. Rives, U.S.A.
" Laurence B. Packard, U.S.A.
" J.E. McKenna, U.S.A.
" Roger W. Straus U.S.A.
1st Lt. Robert J. Scovell, Inf. U.S.A.
" " Ben Stinchfield, U.S.A.
" " R.L. Baggs, Inf. U.S.A.
" " Lawrence Richmond, Inf. U.S.A.
" " Max P. Cushing, U.S.A.
Army Field Clerks: F.H. White
H.A. McDonald
P.F. Barry
J.M. Tenny
G.H. Quinn
J.R. Mitchell
V.P. Ingram
C.L. Moseley
J.S. Cooke
B.J. Brown
R.L. Merrick
W.V. Hopiak
H.H. Werblow
Jos. Berliavsky
E.T. Gray
Organization of the Intelligence Section
(a) Intelligence Officer - Major David P. Barrows
(promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, Cavalry, October 26, 1918.)
Executive Officer - Captain Max Elser, Jr., Inf. U.S.A.
Positive Intelligence:
Captain Frederic Vieweg, Ord. U.S.A. - maps, guide books and information.
Captain Montgomery Schuyler, Ord., U.S.A. - general military information.
Captain Frank Brezina, P.S. - observing at front.
Captain Laurence Packard, U.S.A. - strength and distribution of allied and enemy forces.
Captain Conrad Skladal, P.S. - general military information.
1st Lt. Robt. J. Scovell, Inf. U.S.A. - political and social information.
1st Lt. Max B. Cushing, Inf. U.S.A. - economic information.
1st Lt. Karol B. Kozlowski, P.S. - general military information.
(b) Codes, Ciphers & Communications Section
Captain John A. Powell, U.S.A. - Officer in charge
Captain H.V.V. Fay, Engr., U.S.A. - enemy ciphers and civil mail censorship.
Captain Kenneth L. Roberts, U.S.A. - telegraph and cable censorship.
Captain J.E. McKenna, U.S.A. - encoding and decoding messages.
1st Lt. Ben Stinchfield - encoding and decoding and codes and ciphers.
(c) Contre-Espionage
Captain Francis B. Rives, U.S.A. - Officer in charge
Captain Roger W. Straus, U.S.A. - Contre-Espionage outside our forces.
1st Lt. Lawrence Richmond, Inf. U.S.A. - Contre-Espionage within our forces.
Captain Frederik F. Moore, U.S.A. - Military morale.
(d) Property & Disbursing Officer
Ist. Lt. Ralph L. Baggs, Inf. U.S.A. - Property and disbursing Officer. Lt. Baggs was from October 1st to 16th, 1918, on detached service, working on the Liberty Loan.
(e) Translating Sub-Section
A. Jacumin, Clerk, Quartermaster Corps.
Sgt. J.M> Northup, Q.M.C. (made 2nd Lieutenant, Corps of Interpreters, October 21, 1918).
The field clerks were assigned as follows:
(a 1) To Intelligence Officer - Wm. L. Healy
Executive Officer - F.H. White
Positive Intelligence Section
Army field clerks: B.J. Brown
E.T. Gray
J.S. Cooke
H.A. McDonald
J.M: Tenny
(b 1) Codes, Ciphers & Communications Section
Army field clerks: H.H. Werblow
W.V. Hopiak
V.P. Ingram
Jos. Berliavsky
(c 1) Contre-Espionage Section
Army field clerks: P.J. Barry
C.L. Moseley
J.R. Mitchell
G.H. Quinn
(d 1) To Property & Disbursing Officer

Army field clerk - R.L. Merrick. Mr. Merrick is also Record & Mail Clerk.
The limited field of action prescribed by the American Expeditionary Forces, has not afforded opportunity for the utilization of the Intelligence force as originally contemplated. Certain achievements undertaken with the approval of the Commanding General, may however, be recorded:

(a) During the months of August and September, careful check was kept upon enemy propaganda and Bolshevik agitation in Vladivostok and vicinity. A suspect list was formed. A thorough organization was made to protect the American Forces against enemy activity within the ranks. Happily this last service has not proven to be important.

(b) Through conference with Intelligence Officers of friendly forces a thoroughly satisfactory censorship of telegraph and post-office was organized in October under Captain Powell. This service is under the authority and sanction of the Russian local commander and is carried out in accordance with Russian law, each of the friendly nations contributing officers or employees in aid of the Russian effort.

(c) A similar service of passport control on incoming and outgoing steamers was organized. This was placed in charge of a British officer, but officers and employees of the American Intelligence Section afforded effective assistance which was warmly testified to by the Chief of Staff of the British Mission.

(d) An especially valuable service - examination of people seeking passports for embarkation to America, had been carried on under Captain Rives in connection with the American Consul. By an understanding with the American Consul, no person is given a visa except upon recommendation of the Intelligence Officer. America has been the center for the organization of enemy and radical agitation in Russia. Numbers of violent agitators have returned to Russia from America and there is a constant effort on the part of such people to go from this country to the United States. Their work has proven to be exceedingly harmful. Every effort should be made to assist in excluding such persons, whatever their nationality, from returning to the United States.

(e) Work of permanent value has been done in the collection of Russian Staff maps of Siberia and Russia and the translation and reproduction of these maps for blue-prints. Very great help in this work has been received from all sides. I desire, particularly, to record the assistance given by Colonel Emerson and officers of the RRS both during the recent months and last spring, and especially the services, in rafting maps, rendered by Lieutenant C.W. Fee of the R.R.S. This office now possesses copies and reproductions of staff maps. (Colonel Barrows lists over 600 original maps and many more miscellaneous maps of limited areas.) A considerable addition has also been made to our knowledge of the military geography of Asiatic and European Russian and Manchuria.

(f) The office maintained a translating section from the time of its arrival, doing general translating work from headquarters and a large amount of translation has been done from Russian daily journals and periodicals. Particular attention has been given to public opinion as reflected in editorial columns. The press of Japan has been included. The Expedition suffered the loss, by death, of its Japanese interpreter, Mr. John McKearney, who died of acute influenza, a few days after arrival. His work has been successfully carried out by Lieut. J.M. Northup, who was commissioned a lieutenant in the Corps of Interpreters October 21, 1918, and assigned to this section.

(g) The progress of the fighting and military movements in Eastern Russia and Turkestan has been closely followed and recorded in daily estimate of the military situation.
(h) The strength, organization and equipment of the staff and Intelligence services, and, in less degree, the tactics of the forces of friendly nations operating in Siberia have been as closely studied as opportunity permitted. At all times the most friendly cooperation has been received from the friendly forces, especially from Czech Headquarters, the British Mission and from the Russian Mission since its organization in Vladivostok by General Romanovsky. American Headquarters, have, however, at all times had its own independent sources of information in the field. Major Slaughter has been almost continually at Czech Headquarters in the Urals and a special mission under orders of the Commanding General was undertaken by Colonel Landon, Adjutant General, U.S.A. and Captain Brezina, P.S., who left Vladivostok on September 15, 1918 and proceeded as far west as Ufa and beyond, visiting Ekaterinburg and returning on October 29, 1918. By order of the Commanding General Captain Fay was sent to take station as observer, at Harbin, on October 12th. Other officers have been sent into the field as follows:

Capt. Montgomery Schuyler, U.S.A. to Omsk, Oct. 31, 1918.

Capt. F.F. Moore, U.S.A. to Chita, Dec. 11, 1918.
Capt. Roger W. Straus, U.S.A. to Blagovestchensk, Oct. 31, 1918.
Capt. Conrad Skladal, P.S. to Chita, Nov. 1, 1918.
1st Lt. R.J. Scovell, Inf. U.S.A. to Manchuria Station, Oct. 31, 1918.
1st. Lt. R.L. Baggs, Inf., U.S.A. to Verkne-Udinsk, Oct. 31, 1918.
1st Lt. B. Stinchfield, U.S.A. to Krasnoyarsk, Oct. 31, 1918.
1st Lt. M.B. Cushing, U.S.A. to Tomsk, Oct. 31, 1918.

Each of these officers has been accompanied by a Russian speaking orderly. In addition to making a detailed study of the military, political and economical conditions of their localities, these officers render telegraphic and written reports upon the immediate situation.
(i) About the end of the year Lieutenant colonel Barrows was directed by the Commanding General to go to Chita and make a special investigation of the situation occasioned there by the refusal of the Ataman Semeonov to recognize the Kolchak Government at Omsk. Lieut. Col. Barrows left Vladivostok December 8, 1918, and returned January 2, 1919.

The termination of the war and the limitation of the action of the American Expeditionary Forces, Siberia has now recommended a reduction in the size and efforts of the Intelligence Section. Captains Straus and Powell, by direction of the commanding General have already departed for the United States for retirement. Captain Brezina, and Lieut. Kozlowski have returned to the Philippines. Captain Skladal is under orders to return to former station. Mr. Jacumin returned on November 4, 1918.

(a) The arrival of the officers and enlisted men of the photographic section of the Signal Corps on November 5, 1918, was followed by the taking over by these officers of the photographic work previously done by the Intelligence Section. The signal work was transferred early to the Signal Officer, arriving with a Signal Company from Manila on September 18th. In the same month, Captain Jennings in the Engineer Corps was separated from the Intelligence Section.

(b) It is recommended: (1) that except as regards the character of intended emigrants or voyagers to the United States, the Contre-Espionage work be discontinued. (2) That unit advice is received from Washington that the necessity no longer exists for a postal and telegraph censorship at Vladivostok, the assistance no given to the Russian postal and telegraph censorship be continued. (3) That every practicable effort be made to continue and extend our knowledge of the military situation at the Urals and of the political conditions throughout Siberia. (4) That the collection of photographic data and the collection of maps continue as long as the expedition remains. (5) That the work of the translating section continue as at present, unless the Committee on Public Information reaches a position to take over a portion of this duty.

(Signed) David P. Barrows
Lt. Col., Cav., U.S.A.

As early as September the Intelligence Department learned that various factions in Vladivostok were attempting to purchase American uniforms and equipment from our soldiers. Two of the men from the Intelligence Department met with a would-be buyer on September 12th to ascertain his intentions. They had had a report dated September 10th, stating that the agent was representing an Austrian who was trying to purchase arms and uniforms from the doughboys. He make offers to buy 150 automatic pistols and wanted as many uniforms, overcoats and blankets as he could get. Another Austrian was also said to have made offers to the soldiers. Two Russians, one speaking English, were observed wearing the American uniform with the exception of the shoes. One wore a pair of black shoes and the other a pair of Russian boots.

The officials were dismayed and laid down strict orders to all troops regarding the selling of any of their clothing. The situation was deemed so serious that orders and lectures were continually given to the men.

The Signal Corps Detachment

A detachment of 18 members of the Co. "D", 53rd telegraph Battalion, Signal Corps, equipped to establish semi-permanent communications, accompanied the 27th Infantry Regiment to Vladivostok, arriving August 15th-16th, 1918. The strength of the company was eventually raised to 81 enlisted men.

Telephone installation connecting the various organizations of the Expedition located in and around Vladivostok began on September 19th.

Telegraphic communications were established to Khabarovsk and to Chita (1,850 miles from Vladivostok) via Khabarovsk.

The Photographic Unit - (Signal Corps)

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